As “probably the best midfielder in Europe on his day,” Paul Pogba might finally be in a position to realise his potential at Manchester United. And that position is with more freedom in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s new system.
It may have only been against Cardiff and Huddersfield, but two man of the match performances since Jose Mourinho’s sacking suggest the 25-year-old is finally settled. And United ‘have no intention’ of selling him.
There had been claims of interest from Juventus, Barcelona and PSG, with agent Mino Raiola even sounding out clubs with regards to a move last January. But United hope removing the ‘obstacle’ that was Mourinho should help their most expensive player, who felt he was being ‘scapegoated’ for the club’s struggles.
Ed Woodward refused to sell Pogba in the summer, and will not change his mind this winter. ‘United’s hierarchy believe that, in Pogba, Anthony Martial (23), Marcus Rashford (21) and Jesse Lingard (26), they have four players who can provide the team’s attacking fulcrum for years to come,’ say the Daily Telegraph. So that really is that.
Arsenal might have something of a dilemma. The Gunners had surely come to accept the inevitability of losing Aaron Ramsey for free at the end of the season, but a potential suitor has emerged with some mid-season money.
According to the Daily Mirror, PSG are contemplating making a £9m January bid for the midfielder. Adrien Rabiot will be leaving the French champions upon the expiration of his own contract, and so PSG are eager to lock in his replacement.
With Juventus and Bayern Munich also lurking, there is something of a battle for a player who can sign a pre-contract with any European club from January onwards. But PSG feel that making an offer now could ‘head off interest’ from elsewhere.
NO CHEQUES IN THE CITY
Manchester City have fallen seven points behind Liverpool in the Premier League title race, and really do need a new central midfielder in January. But there will be no new arrivals this winter.
The Times say Pep Guardiola ‘will not attempt to sign anyone next month,’ as ‘the club insist that they have no need to enter the transfer market’. Their current squad is said to be good enough. Obviously.
It is likely to mean that they may lose out of Frenkie de Jong, with Barcelona ‘in pole position’ to sign the Ajax youngster. Oh dear.